Why Is Deborah Arnott Paid More Than Theresa May?

I came across this yesterday on Guido:

Deborah Arnott, the fanatical £160,000-a-year chief executive of the taxpayer-funded pressure group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), still has to continue justifying her taxpayer subsidy.

How much does Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, get? Answer:

The Prime Minister is paid £150,402 a year.

So Deborah Arnott is paid more than Theresa May! Isn’t that astounding!

No wonder she’s such a self-important little prick.

But what does she actually do that merits such high pay? Theresa May is running a country. What is Deborah Arnott running, apart from a vicious campaign of vilification and demonisation and exclusion of smokers?

Theresa May is making key decisions affecting the lives of millions of people every single day. She probably has £150,000 of influence on their lives every single day in her job, and maybe even every single hour in it. It’s a huge responsibility. She probably signs off every day on decisions which route millions of pounds in one direction or other. And she actually does it with a little bit of style.

What the hell does Deborah Arnott do? As far as I can see she just jets off to conferences all over the world with other overpaid antismoking zealots just like her. Guido Fawkes article calls her the “chief executive” of ASH, but what tasks does she “execute”? Elsewhere she is described as its “director”, but what does she direct? Does she have a staff of hundreds of people working under her? Does she even have a staff of ten people working under her? Does she have any staff at all?

According to ASH, their offices are at:

6th floor, Suites 59-63,
New House,
67-68 Hatton Garden,
London EC1N 8JY

The frontage of New House is about 15 metres in length. There are two shops in it, one a jeweller, the other a pawnbroker. In Google street view (right), there is an Offices To Let sign from Pearl and Coutts, and a telephone number 020 7843 3788.

I’m not sure what a “suite” is, but if ASH occupies 5 suites on the 6th floor, how many suites can be fitted into a single floor? Assuming that the ground floor is occupied by the two shops, there are about 10 suites  on each floor, assuming they’re numbered 1 to 64. Given a 15 metre depth to the building, each floor will have an area of 225 square metres, and each suite will have an area of 22.5 square metres. This is a room 4.7 metres or 15 feet square square. In fact it’s probably less than this if the area or the staircase and lift, as well as the internal walls, is subtracted from the floor area. The suites are probably more like 4 metres or 12 foot square. They’re not much bigger than broom cupboards.

Most likely Deborah Arnott’s capacious desk and accompanying throne fully occupies one of these broom cupboards. What’s in the others? Probably a secretary in one. A photocopier and computers in another. Piles of No Smoking signs in another. And a tea room/toilet (transgender?) in the last.

Far from being “chief executive” or “director” or “president”, Deborah Arnott is more like Chief Tea Lady of ASH. And she has a staff of only one or two people. And since the top floor of New House is probably baking in summer, she’s probably busy all day making cuppas, when she’s not composing new lies about smoking:

“The misery now is if you want to sit outside you have to sit in a really smoky area; it means that the smoke is diffused in a way it can’t be indoors and, basically, it’s a health hazard.”

What utter misery! The smoke is indeed diffused outdoors “in a way it can’t be indoors”, because very often smoke can’t be diffused at all indoors, while outdoors it has the whole atmosphere of the Earth to diffuse into. It is never “very smoky” outside in the ways that it can be very smoky inside. And it isn’t a “health hazard” either.

Clearly she now wants an outdoor smoking ban.

And for this she’s paid £160,000 a year? Why? What good does she do? Does she do any good at all? She’s doing an enormous amount of harm. The whole country would be better off if she was fired, and ASH closed down.


About Frank Davis

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34 Responses to Why Is Deborah Arnott Paid More Than Theresa May?

  1. Jonathan Bagley says:

    Have you looked up what she gets paid? I think , a few years ago, I did; and it was only around 70K. I may be wrong, or perhaps her salary has rocketed.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m reporting what Guido Fawkes says she earns. He should know much better than you or I. It’s his job to find out things like this..

    • Pat Nurse says:

      A few years ago? How many pay rises since then? You can bet loads – especially as lying and dishonest Arnott keeps demanding more tax from us to ensure her fat salary can grow. Guido will know the true figure. Isn’t it a shame that those screeching about saving the NHS haven’t realised who is wrecking it and stealing its money on false pretences. If only the public could be made to see that Arnott and her fake charity are a waste of cash that could be better used to save real children’s lives and not fictional ones.

    • nisakiman says:

      Yes, I seem to remember a year or two ago reading that she was on £68,000 or thereabouts. Which is not a miserly sum.

      However, as Junican points out, she probably has a very generous expense account, You can bet your bottom dollar that she doesn’t dig in her own pocket to fund the junkets around the globe, all business class travel and 5* hotels. That doesn’t come cheap. and could easily double her putative income.

  2. Timothy Goodacre says:

    I wonder when ASH will lose all their state funding ? After all they now have nothing to do. If pubs introduce outside smoking bans they will seal their demise. Those of us in the Smoking Resistance will mount mount guerilla attacks I am sure !

  3. Frank – did you mean to write “Clearly she now wants an outdoor smoking.”? or did you omit the word “ban”?

  4. Emily says:

    That quote of hers is the limit. I had to read it over 10 times before I could even begin to understand what she is trying to say:

    The misery now is if you want to sit outside you have to sit in a really smoky area; it means that the smoke is diffused in a way it can’t be indoors and, basically, it’s a health hazard.

    She seems to be implying that smoke is somehow even more “dangerous” outside. I’m surprised that such a nonsensical quote was even printed in this “oral history” but optimistically I have to wonder if maybe they were actually trying to let tobacco control show how illogical they truly are, in their own words?

    • Juliet 46 says:

      Wonder if she ever gets invited to barbecues…

      • nisakiman says:

        Heh! Yes! A half hour BBQ gives off the equivalent smoky carcinogens of 220,000 cigarettes, apparently. But of course, those are your common or garden type of carcinogen, unlike tobacco carcinogens, which are deadlier than anything before known to man, and kill instantly on contact.

    • Joe L. says:

      I also had to read it a few times to fully understand what she was trying to say.

      Frank succinctly covered the idiocy of her statement on the diffusion on smoke into the atmosphere, so I will instead comment on the other baffling thing about this quote:

      Apparently this moron Arnott doesn’t realize that it is she who is responsible for creating this so-called “misery” by “exiling smokers to the outdoors.” Maybe she wouldn’t be so miserable if she would have allowed proprietors to choose whether or not to allow smoking inside their establishments!

      Then again, I don’t think there’s any saving her from her own miserable existence. It’s clear she wants to implement an outdoor smoking ban (how else can she continue to justify her £160,000-a-year salary?), and doesn’t even care about how ridiculously nonsensical her justification is. She knows from past experiences that it doesn’t matter.

  5. Pat Nurse says:

    Arnott lies for her living. Every single word that tips out of her vile mouth is a lie aimed at inciting hatred against legitimate adult consumers who smoke. That is what she does and she does it for no other reason that she gets paid well for it. Take away her fat salary and she wouldn’t work for nothing. She is as bad as the tobacco companies she slanders. The shame is that we have to fund this nasty abusive corporate hate monger posing as a charity worker and it says a lot about our politicians who are too thick or smokerphobic to see through her. Meanwhile a child, Charlie Gard, is being allowed to die because leeches like Arnott are sucking the life out of the NHS budget which won’t waste its money on a child who needs more to survive than it wants to pay. Imagine how many real and not fictional lives could be saved if the Govt didn’t throw NHS money away on greedy extremists like Arnott.

    • Tony says:

      Fully agree Pat except that I feel your comparison with tobacco companies is unfair. I have never seen any real evidence of tobacco companies lying ever. Unlike Arnott who lies constantly and ASH that has been doing so for decades.

      This quote is from McTear vs ITL (2005):
      “… Imperial does not challenge the public health message. It has not done so for almost forty years and intends, in the future, to continue its policy of not challenging the public health message that smoking causes these diseases.”

      Tobacco company lying only took off in a big way in the US after the corrupt MSA of 1998 and that lying took the form of actively agreeing with the anti-smoking fraudsters.

      • beobrigitte says:

        This quote is from McTear vs ITL (2005):
        “… Imperial does not challenge the public health message. It has not done so for almost forty years and intends, in the future, to continue its policy of not challenging the public health message that smoking causes these diseases.”

        I believe Deborah Arnott is far worse than this particular tobacco company not taking the bait. She has no science background but she knows how to bullsh*t.

        Bear in mind that the anti-smokers wanted the tobacco company to challenge the “public health message” in order to present their self- and friends funded “research” (we can hardly call it INDEPENDENT) cooked up over many, many years and anti-smoker&friends lobbying caused universities no longer (since 1996 in England) to accept tobacco company money for research. Hardly a levelled playing field, isn’t it?

        More importantly, the smoking ban and everything that followed was not based on the “smoking-causes-diseases” lark. There wouldn’t have been a smoking ban on that ground. The anti-smokers knew they had to cook up/dig up something else: The oh-so-deadly-passive-smoke-that-crawls-through-walls-and-telephone-cables in order to get a smoking ban.

        I agree with Pat Nurse Meanwhile a child, Charlie Gard, is being allowed to die because leeches like Arnott are sucking the life out of the NHS budget which won’t waste its money on a child who needs more to survive than it wants to pay. Imagine how many real and not fictional lives could be saved if the Govt didn’t throw NHS money away on greedy extremists like Arnott.

        • waltc says:

          From what we hear of the Gard story over here, it’s even worse than that. The parents raised a huge fund of money to pay for his transport and care in America but the UK hospital, with court approval, won’t release the boy, not even to just let him die at home. So it’s not even a question of money but of raw state power

  6. Vlad says:

    To answer the question in your title….because she’s a high priest of the Healthist church (the new religion of the western world). And throughout history, the high priests of main religions have been well paid. If you want to get your blood pressure high, look at how much the top CROOK guy is making.

  7. Rose says:

    The reason the Prime Minister’s salary is so low is because Gordon Brown instituted a pay cut as he left office.

    Gordon Brown accepts a pay cut (for David Cameron)
    5 Jun 2010

    “Gordon Brown’s last act was to deprive David Cameron of hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
    “On Brown’s orders, the Prime Minister’s remuneration package was cut from £194,000 to £150,000, but this was done with such stealth that no formal announcement was ever made.”

    A month after the Invasion of Iraq,

    New director takes charge at ASH
    30 April 2003

    “ASH, the UK’s leading anti-tobacco charity, today announced the appointment of Deborah Arnott as its new Director.”

    “Previously Head of Consumer Education for the Financial Services Authority, Arnott set up the FSA’s consumer education function from scratch, played a key role in the development of policy to protect consumers with endowment mortgages and was successful in lobbying to get financial education into the school curriculum.

    She has a varied background including being the first female Industrial Relations Officer at Triumph Cars, an MBA from Cranfield and experience as a journalist both in print and television. As a producer director and thenprogramme editor for London Weekend Television she developed and launched awide range of programmes including ‘DOSH’ for Channel 4 and ‘Most Wanted’ for ITV.”

  8. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Good article today in The Daily Telegraph doctor page on the fallacy of SHS.

  9. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    ASH’s last accounts filed at the Charities Commission are for year ending 31 March 2016. 2012 accounts were filed on 21 September 2012, so this year’s accounts are not likely to be available before September.

    Note 4 to the accounts shows one member of staff receives between £80k and £90k (our Debs?) and a pension contribution of £4,307 (p25 of 30) – unchanged since 2011. Her salary in 2011 fell in the range £60k-£80k (I thought the bands were £10k wide, but hey ho). (Note 5 p22 of 25 of 2012 accounts).

    I do not know if it is possible to hide her full remuneration by giving her two job titles. Probably unethical to do so, so I’m sure she wouldn’t.

    Travel and accomodation expenses are not identifiable..

    Note 9 to the accounts show “Work to support delivery of the Tobacco Control Plan for England” had incoming funds of £182k (2012), £175k (2014), £200k (2015) and £150k (2016). No wonder our Debs wants a new tobacco smoker control plan in place right now.

    Accounts from 2012 to 2016 can be opened at: http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/DocumentList.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=262067&SubsidiaryNumber=0&DocType=AccountList


    Our Debs has another job on the board of Impress, an officially recognised press regulator, financed by Mr Max Mosley: http://impress.press/about-us/our-board.html

    Hope this helps.


  10. Clicky says:

  11. Radical Rodent says:

    … taxpayer-funded pressure group…

    I am sure a valid question should be: Why should tax-payers have to fund this pressure group? (Or: Why should tax-payers have to fund ANY pressure group?)

  12. Smoking Lamp says:

    She is a racketeer. She is paid to extort and intimidate government to impose prohibition on behalf of the authoritarian lifestyle control industry. Typical mafia activity,

  13. smokingscot says:

    ASH claims to have 11 employees in their 2016 annual report. It’s a PDF download, so no direct link is possible:


    They are:

    Deborah Arnott
    Hazel Cheeseman
    Nicolas Chinardet
    Rasha Elzein
    Emily James
    Phil Rimmer
    Jenn Ruddick
    Vicky Salt
    Amanda Sandford
    Sarah Williams
    Ian Willmore

    One of those named is for maternity leave cover. Their positions are mentioned but it’s a bitch to copy anything off a PDF as is.

    Then there’s this lot, their Board of Trustees.

    HRH The Duke of

    Dr Sanjay Agrawal
    Professor Paul Burstow
    Professor John Britton
    Ms Alison Cox
    Ms Marisa Crook
    Ms Carolan Davidge
    Dr Nick Hopkinson
    Professor Martin Jarvis
    Mr Peter Kellner
    Dr Andy McEwen
    Cllr Jonathan McShane
    Professor John Moxham
    Dr Lesley Owen
    Dr Helen Walters

    All there to add clout.

    And here’s the extent of their tentacles.

    Smokefree Action Coalition
    The Smokefree Action Coalition (SFAC) continues to grow and now
    consists of 329 organisations committed to reducing the harm caused
    by tobacco. It was established by ASH to advocate for smokefree
    public places and has grown year on year since then. In January 2016,
    a meeting of the SFAC alliance was held to discuss and agree a new
    3-5 year strategy. Priorities include achieving the publication of a new
    government tobacco control plan sustainably funded through a levy on
    the industry and ratification of the Illicit Trade Protocol to the FCTC,
    backed up by licencing of the entire supply chain including retailers, to
    improve the UK’s effectiveness in tackling the illicit trade in tobacco.
    The proposal to impose a levy on the tobacco industry to pay for
    evidence-based tobacco control and stop smoking services formed a
    key plank of the Smoking Still Kills tobacco control strategy launched
    by ASH in 2015. SFAC members joined ASH in backing Cancer
    Research UK’s ‘Cough Up’ campaign in support of this policy.

    I highlight “”continues to grow” to 329 organisations.

    One reason why their tobacco control plan has stalled is because it’s simply an excuse to receive funding independent of government, by a levy on tobacco companies. That is something no government wants because – eventually – the money will be used for political purposes. Something the residents of California will discover all too soon.

    (Couple of years ago I read an ASH report that stated they’d had a 30% staff turnover. No possibility of career progression in this outfit, with the chief honcho cemented into post indefinitely).

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